It takes approximately 45 seconds in the gym to notice somebody who is using quite frankly head turning form. As you watch in amazement you wonder how they haven’t caused themselves serious damage. You also get the ego lifters who live for the posts they can share on social media sites bragging about how much weight they can throw about to find their range of motion is about as full as a Bentley’s petrol tank after a 100 mile journey! Not very for those of you who are not familiar with the Bentley’s love for petrol – they love to guzzle.
The issue with cheating in the gym is that you are causing yourself many issues, 3 of which are outlined below.
1 – Injuries Very often people will cause themselves an injury due to bad form. When you lift more than you can handle you will often use bad posture to try and fight the weight. Often people will squirm under the bar as they try and wriggle it up placing enormous stress on their lower backs usually. This is basic stuff, always keep your posture tight and the body aligned otherwise you are asking for problems.
2 – Miscommunication When you perform reps and reps your brain and muscles develop a communication pathway known as the ‘’mind to muscle connection’’ via the CNS. If you cheat your CNS signals are off which in turn detracts from the quality of muscle contraction you are able to experience. This can have a negative impact on your ability to target the muscle and stimulate it which after all is what it’s all about. Keep it strict!
3 – Shared Stress To stimulate a muscle enough to adapt and grow and ultimately become stronger you need to make IT work. If you are ‘’curling’’ heavy weight yet 75% of that is through lower back movement your biceps aren’t actually working very hard at all!! To intelligently force a muscle to grow you need to make it work and cause it untold amounts of stress in isolation where possible. There is always a cross-over between muscle groups due to natural movement patterns but don’t exacerbate the issue with the form of a swinging monkey!!
It’s somewhat cliché but cheating in the gym really is just cheating yourself. Good form is a basic foundation which should always lie within your training principles for the above reasons shared.